The Pera Museum, which opened its doors in early June 2005, is the first step of a comprehensive cultural endeavor that the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation has launched at this distinguished venue in the city for the purpose of providing cultural service on a variety of levels. An historical structure which was originally constructed in 1893 by the architect Achille Manoussos in Tepebaşı (İstanbul's most prestigious district in those days) and which was, until rather recently, known as the Bristol Hotel, was completely renovated to serve as a museum and cultural center for the project. Transformed into a fully-equipped modern museum, this venerable building is now serving the people of İstanbul once again.
The Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation's collection of Orientalist art consists of more than three hundred paintings. This rich collection brings together important works by European artists inspired by the Ottoman world from the 17th century to the early 19th. This collection, which presents a vast visual panorama of the last two centuries of the Ottoman Empire, includes works by Osman Hamdi, regarded by art historians as the genre's only "native Orientalist" and of course his most famous painting The Tortoise Trainer.